Tradeshows are a powerful form of marketing if they’re done right. Unfortunately, many tradeshows are knee-jerk decisions by reactive sales and marketing teams and it often shows in their execution and results. The great news is profiting from tradeshow selling is easy once you have the fundamentals nailed down.
Beyond marketing and sales strategy we have to also make sure that our trade show booth and participation are aligned with our sustainability strategy and the values of our potential and existing customers. In-short it’s possible to be green and profitable even with your tradeshow marketing.
Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do to make your tradeshow booth and experience profitable and sustainable:
1. Make sure this is the right event for you. The Pareto principle or 80/20 rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. These could also be referred to as “A” customers. Before saying yes to buying a booth at a tradeshow dig into the demographics of the potential attendees. The tradeshow should have a high concentration of “A” customers otherwise you could end up with a long list of unqualified prospects.
In addition to this, according to sales author Bill Gibson, you may also want to ask the following questions before committing:
2. Get Social Early. Make note of the conference social media hashtag well before the event. A hashtag like #sohosme, the one the Soho Business Expo uses for their events can help you find other attendees, sponsors and potential customers that will be attending the event.
Engage these people in advance and begin laying the foundation for in-person connections at the event. In addition to this make an effort to reach out to other exhibitors on LinkedIn and Twitter in advance of the show and begin building rapport and alliances. Even if you and two or three other companies promote each other at the event your foot traffic and lead generation will improve.
3. Amp Up Your Booth. Design your booth with form, function and the environment in mind. Design has a massive impact on the curb appeal of your storefront in retail. Booths are truly temporary retail spaces in high traffic areas. Too many people just show up with a table, a banner and some brochures and give very little thought to how they’re going to attract the attention of people passing by. Here are some things to consider or implement when designing your booth:
4. Use comfort to keep them in your booth.
5. Follow-up Soon and Follow-up Often. Once someone leaves a conference as an attendee or and exhibitor they often arrive back at the office buried in tasks they need to catch-up on. The single biggest waste of marketing and sales efforts comes from failing to follow-through. Most marketing ideas aren’t given enough follow-up to really show their true potential. Have a plan to follow-up at the conference or tradeshow and then several times immediately after the event.
Many people are resistant to follow-up more than once because they are afraid that they’re annoying their prospect or spamming them with unwanted communications. This is only true if your follow-up lacks creativity, relevancy and value. Here are a few ways you can maximize your new relationships with follow-up:
This switch can help you make an additional positive statement about your sustainable marketing practices while helping you raise above the digital noise with hard-copy marketing materials and a personal touch.
These are just a few ideas to help you make your next conference or tradeshow more profitable and sustainable. You are investing a lot of time, energy and resources with an event like this. A little planning, sustainable thinking and creativity can go a long way to increasing your return on investment.